"Die Anklage" ist eine ganz besondere episode, die alle zutaten enthält, für die NUMMER 6 berühmt geworden ist - das prisonereske gefühl, eine studie in surrealismus. "Die Anklage" ist eine der vier 1966 zum großen teil am drehschauplatz Portmeirion entstandenen episoden. Es war autor Anthony Skene, der diese episode im geiste von Cocteau erträumt hat. Er hatte keinerlei leitlinien zur verfügung, lediglich eine zusammenfassung der serienidee von George Markstein bekommen. Monatelang dümpelte das belichtete filmmaterial unfertig, ungeschnitten und ungeliebt vor sich hin. Hätte nicht filmcutter John
S. Smith sich der episode angenommen und sie bearbeitet, "Die Anklage" hätte wahrscheinlich nie das licht der fernsehschirme gesehen. - Der interviewpartner hier war Tom Worrall.
TW: How long were you actually working on THE PRISONER?
MM: I don’t know — quite a long time. Certainly we were two weeks down in Portmeirion.
TW: Have you ever re-visited the village?
PATRICK McGOOHAN, MARY MORRIS UND NORMA WEST IN DER BERÜHMTEN
GERICHTSSZENE AUS "DIE ANKLAGE"
MM: No - I've been near, but not actually there. Of course, the village was more like a film set. I met the old fellow, Sir Clough, and had dinner with him and his wife one evening, which was quite charming. It's a beautiful place and the garden is really lovely. Of course that was his lif'e’s dream. It’s very impressive. It is also lovely that he lived long enough to be able to see it complete.
TW: Did you stay in Portmeirion?
NW: Mary was in the hotel, and I stayed in one of the houses. It was great fun.
MM: I scarcely saw the hotel while we were on location - it was just a case of having a meal and going to bed. It was a lovely summer, too. When we had any spare time we went down to a tiny little cove to bathe.
TW: Was the village closed to the public while you were ﬁlming?
MM: I think not - I can't remember. There were so many extras and so many people around anyway. They were collected from all around the place.
INTERVIEW: DAVE BARRIE
DAVE BARRIE: DUNKLE TRÄUME UND LANGE SCHATTEN
EPISODENWÜRDIGUNG: "DIE ANKLAGE"
TW: Did the extras get the same badges each day?
NW: The few that were on call had the same costume and badge each day.
MM: My badge was given to the next No. 2.
MM: Norma has an original badge . . .
NW: Yes, the one I wore, No. 275 - black, white and orange. I also have the script.
TW: Of course, things like the multi-coloured umbrellas are easy to get now, but at the time perhaps not so easy?
MM: Yes, indeed, they were much coveted. I had the shooting stick to carry round - chanting “Be seeing you!” — it’s all coming back now. And that great balloon thing! I have one, actually — they gave me one at the end. I've never blown it up fully. I thought of putting it on the car pump, just to see what happens. In fact, I thought of having it in here for you — I thought it might give you a big surprise as you opened the door. . .
TW: You told me earlier you have the cap.
MM: That’s it over there. When the episode was shown, I used to drive a little black Talbot tourer with the hood down, and I remember a lorry driver who must have seen the cap shout “Hello, Number Two!” I love that old cap — I’d never part with it!
TW: Did you keep anything else?
MM: No, we were given clothes to wear, and quite honestly they were ﬁlthy old things anyway, and smelt to high heaven — I don’t know how they got away with that -- any old stuff was thrown at us. I thought, for god’s sake we can go and buy a T-shirt somewhere but there was nowhere in 'Portmeirion, and shooting started immediately. Anyway, I had my own cap with me and said I would wear that, and they said, “OK”.
TW: The changing rooms were in the Town Hall, weren't they?
MM: Yes — actors are used to changing in the most extraordinary places. On tour during the war I can’t tell you what it was like . . . I must say, one of the best things for me was meeting Norma on the show. We met on THE PRISONER, and have been great friends ever since.
TW: You had a cat in the episode — was it yours?
MM: That’s right, so I did. It wasn't my cat, although I would have loved it — it was beautiful. I do have an adopted black cat now, but it's not mine — with London streets as they are there would be not point.
TW: I read that your part was originally for a man. Did lines like “How very uncomfortable for you, old chap” seem difficult to say?
MM: No, Fun! Anyway, Number Two is just a person in authority. In this case it happened to be a woman, but I don’t think it mattered.
TW: Was there ever any talk of you playing another Number Two in THE PRISONER?
MM: No, I don’t think so. First of all they wanted me to be Old Father Time, but then they said “We’ll make it Peter Pan" and I said OK!
TW: You were in the stage version of “Peter Pan”, weren’t you?
MM: Yes, in the winter of 1946/47. I have a passion to re-play Peter Pan as [Dave] Barrie wrote it, with white hair, cobwebs and autumn leaves.
TW: Was your episode improvised that much — even on set?
MM: Yes, it was. Very peculiar. When we did that beach shot, we just went out on to the sands, and stood miles away from each other — and had to shout at each other over the sand.
TW: Were there many re-takes?
NW: I don’t really remember. The big scenes were all done twice - the carnival, for example. Getting people organised, couples together, etc. was complicated. The small scenes were pretty straightforward. I always thought that had something to do with this special atmosphere — all the work was done For you because you responded to it. There was that strangeness.
MM: We took quite a long time over the beach scene. It was tricky getting us in the right light. In the end, we used lamps because the sun had gone just too far down.
NW: Pulling Rover caused the most trouble — to get them to look right and not as though they were being yanked!
TW: Did McGoohan ever show you un-cut footage from other episodes to get you in the right Frame of mind?
MM: No. There was the script, and one read it, but there was no-one to answer any questions. McGoohan wasn’t going to say anything, and he was really the only one who knew. What we did was go on, say our lines, and create the characters we thought those lines represented.
TW: Did McGoohan ever comment on your approach to the Number Two character?
MM: No, evidently he was quite happy. He may have commented to others, but not to me. The completed episode was as I expected it would be. I was featured in it a lot, so I knew what was going on.
TW: How did you get on with McGoohan?
MM: Well, I found him very quiet. He never seemed to speak to anyone, even when we were doing the shots. Although he was semi-directing all the time, he never suggested anything at all. Pat was terribly tired.
NW: He was in a state of exhaustion, and really refusing at that stage to delegate responsibility. He was taking everything on himself even down to composing the music. He never went home — he slept in his dressing room, and hardly ate.
MM: I arrived at the studio one morning and there he was, sitting beside me in make-up, and I told him he was looking terribly ill. "I know” he said.
NW: He was a driven man in the end. He’d never chat to us in the evenings. If anyone, he'd talk to Don Chaffey or David Tomblin. I had worked with him before, on Danger Man, and we got on very well — or as well as any woman can get on with Pat. That is another diflicult area, you see. For instance, the scene at the Fancy dress ball that should have been played with the two of us very close and him trying to get information from me. Don Chaffey said “I think it’s going to be all right, Norma. He knows you and I think he’ll be able to do it close.” But when we came to do it, he just wouldn’t and said “Nothing personal; nothing personal, Norma”. So we shouted at each other, going round and round in the most stupid fashion, and every time I see it I think "AAARGH!"
MM: I remember what a state you were in wondering how on earth you could get this feeling over.
NW: It was supposed to be very intimate — the whole thing was that my character was slowly breaking down, and was going to turn against that lot and go for him, because feelings were involved — and it was shouted! Him with his hands behind his back...
TW: Of course, McGoohan has made the wrong sort of series if he wanted a private life!
MM: Indeed he has, with its huge following. It is very strange that it has this following — maybe it is because it was out of its time, and as a lot of people have said, people today will understand it much more.
NW: I do remember the atmosphere was quite extraordinary during the making of the series. We didn’t realise it was going to be so successful, but we did realise what a different feel it had to it. It was very mysterious, and you began to feel a little strange yourself.
MM: I must say I thought the show about THE PRISONER — "Six into One, The PRISONER File" was shot beautifully. I understood it better after that.
TW: Some think it might be a religious thing — especially "Fall Out" - judgement day.
MM: Well, it could be because he is a very religious man, and it is possible that it was in his mind.
NW: No matter what questions we asked McGoohan, he would never give a straight answer. He would simply not answer or turn it into something trivial. Actually, the only thing he ever explained was the salute which all the villagers made with the “Be seeing you!" phrase. Not using my brain, I didn't know what it depicted. It was the sign the Christians used to make... the sign of the ﬁsh. That was the only thing he ever told me. I think the only person that knows much about it, apart from McGoohan, is Leo McKern. Leo was around for a long time while we were there. He was desperate to know what it was about, and couldn't get any information at all.
TW: Did anybody guess No. l’s identity?
NW: We were certain it would be McGoohan.
MM: Of course, with our episode we were up against it in any way — very surreal.
TW: Do you think Anthony Skene thought that the computer [anm.: gemeint ist der fernschreiber] in "Dance of the Dead" was Number One?
MM: We rather thought that - maybe this is Number One. We are all going to be computerised in the end. But it was great fun to do. Even though I must say I didn’t know what it was really all about - I don’t think anyone does. It would be nice if someone came up with a theory, and I would like to hear what Patrick has to say about it. I still think it might be a religious thing.
MARY MORRIS, NORMA WEST UND PATRICK McGOOHAN IN EINER DREHPAUSE
VOR DER BRISTOL COLONNADE IN PORTMEIRION
NW: He does have tremendous battles about that himself. I get the feeling he is calmer now. He was certainly waging a war at the time.
TW: There is the usual rumour going round about a ﬁlm of THE PRISONER
MM: I should think he’d go into outer space, wouldn't you? In a capsule imprisoned in that for the rest of time...
Das interview entstand 1985 in London, der vorliegende auszug wurde in mitgliedermagazin "Number Six" nr. 4/1985 veröffentlicht.